Chickpea Falafels with Tomato and Cucumber Salad


Fridays are falafel days, and my favorite day of the week of course!  For months, I’ve been going to this food truck for these amazing, crispy falafels.  The only catch is that it’s been getting too chilly over here, so by the time I bring them back to the office, the falafels turn cold and unappealing.  What a disappointing contrast from when they are fresh from the fryer and piping hot!


I looked up a few recipes online and it seems that there are so many variations.  Some add baking soda to make them fluffy, some use a mix of chickpeas and fava beans, and some add chickpea flour.


It actually took me several attempts to get these perfect.  I played around with different types of chickpea products to see which yielded the best results: dried chickpeas (lots of work involved), canned chickpeas (too mushy), chickpea flour (too dense), and even the falafel mix you can buy at some grocery stores (too salty).  And you know which is best? …dried chickpeas!  They are just right, perfect really.


Although it does take a bit of effort with the soaking and processing, it has the winning texture: crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside!  Sometimes you just can’t be lazy.


Serve the falafels with toasted pita, yogurt tahini sauce, pickles, and a salad on the side, and your meal is complete.


Chickpea Falafels with Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Serves: 36 pieces
  • 2 tbsps fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsps fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 2 medium roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, diced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 lb dry chickpeas, soaked in water overnight and drained
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  1. To prepare the salad, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley. Toss with tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion. Season with salt and pepper. Keep cool until ready to serve.
  2. Combine chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, spices, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until blended, but not pureed. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add baking soda and flour, and mix well. Refrigerate mixture for at least one hour. Form falafel mixture into one-inch balls with wet hands or cookie scoop.
  3. Heat oil in a stainless steel saucepan over medium heat. Gently lower falafels into hot oil and fry until they are golden brown. Reduce the heat if the falafels get dark too quickly and do not cook inside. Drain on a paper towel.
  4. Serve with tomato and cucumber salad, pita, and your favorite condiments (tahini-yogurt, harissa, or pickles).